Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, the UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has described the Dubai Women’s Triathlon as a platform for “positivity and happiness” after watching more than 250 women of different nationalities cross the finish line in the first such event of its kind in the Middle East.
Organised by the Women’s Sports Committee of the Dubai Sports Council in association with the Dubai Ladies Club, the newest addition to Dubai’s sporting calendar got off to a successful start on Friday, attracting both triathlon regulars and first-time enthusiasts, including more than a 100 Emiratis, who were assured of complete privacy as no men were allowed near the swimming competition. Even the lifeguards were ladies.
“This triathlon is a celebration of being in a place that is inclusive,” said Al Kaabi, the guest of honour at the presentation ceremony at Dubai Ladies Club, after presenting medals to the top three in each category.
“You have many communities – Emiratis and non-Emiratis, and I am really proud of seeing all of them participating. It’s the first event of its kind here in the Middle East, yet you can feel the vibe. You can also predict that we are going to have more participation in the future.
“This is an important platform for positivity, for also promoting happiness, promoting the quality of life. So therefore you can see all of the elements that we are working on from a government perspective – the community perspective and sports perspective are combined here to achieve such goals.”
H.E. Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Managing Director of Dubai Women’s Establishment, Moza Al Marri, Board member of Dubai Sports Council and Chairperson of DSC’s Women’s Sports Committee, and Lamia Khan, Chairperson of the Organising Committee, Vice Chairperson of DSC’s Women’s Sports Committee and Director of Dubai Ladies Club, were also present at the awards ceremony.
This being the Year of Giving in the UAE, the organising committee has decided to donate all the proceeds from the event to global philanthropic organisation, Al Jalila Foundation, to support women with disabilities and provide them with prosthesis.
“We at the Women’s Sports Committee are really pleased with the great success in organising this first-ever ladies triathlon in this region and the participation of more than 250 ladies of different age and nationality,” said Lamia Khan. “The three-week pre-event camps were also a big success, helping lift the fitness of the ladies and giving them the confidence to participate in the triathlon.
“Those pre-event camps helped raise the number of entries. The enrolment increased over the last days as the ladies gained in confidence, training on the Dubai Ladies Club beach. The Women’s Sports Committee aims to hold more such events and increase the participation of women in sports – women from every segment of the society, beginners or professional athletes.
“The proceeds from this event will go to a venerable institution to help women who have lost their limbs and give them an opportunity to live and exercise like other women.”
The Al Jalila Foundation was represented at the triathlon by three teams of three members each, one of them being Iraqi amputee Zainab Al-Eqabi, who lost her left leg in a Baghdad bomb blast and uses a prosthetic now.
“This whole event is amazing because I think the fitness industry is changing in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE and Dubai, where women are so encouraged to work on themselves, motivate each other, be fit and take care of their health,” said Al Eqabi, a well-known face on the public speaking circuit, who did the cycling section for one of the Al Jalila teams.
The Dubai Women’s Triathlon was sponsored by Dubai Ladies Club, RTA Dubai, Arabian Radio Network (ARN), Dubai Police and Dubai Ambulance.
SHORT COURSE (1.5km swim x 30km cycling x 10km run)
Age 16-29: Marsha Yecla (Philippines) 2:28:56; Donna Christie (Philippines) 2:30:13; Airene Rosei (Philippines) 2:52:27
Age 30-plus: Svetlana Blazevic (Russia) 1:52:36; Lisa Hancox (Great Britain) 2:00:21; Lynette Wam (New Zealand) 2:05:51
Team: The Girls (Zimbabwe) 1:51:20; GRIT (Great Britain) 2:31:09
SPRINT COURSE (750m swim x 20km cycling x 5km run)
Age 16-29: Helen O’Neile (Great Britain) 1:04:23; Megan Elliott 1:17:47; Sofia Chudinova (Russia) 1:18:22
Age 30-plus: Deirdre Casey (Ireland) 1:01:08; Emma Deane (Australia) 1:08:27; Bianca Beisetzer-Clark (Canada) 1:11:17
Teams (UAE): Dubai Municipality-1 1:10:34; Team 52 1:24:20; ANAGOW1 1:28:15
Teams: Ladies Warrior (Philippines) 1:18:29; Burek Brigade (Russia) 1:23:16; Push the LIMIT (Philippines) 1:48:12
SUPER SPRINT (400m swim x 10km cycling x 2.5km run)
Age 16-29 (UAE): Aisha Al Metiari 50:57; Asma Al Janahi 53:53; Rona Salman 58:06
Age 16-29: Fiona Dutton (Great Britain) 43:08; Miriam Howard (Ireland) 47:40; Olga Zolotova (Russia) 53:02.
Age 30-plus (UAE): Nada Omar 53:32; Alison Round 56:04; Amani Mohamed Saif 56:20
Age 30-plus: Leanne Carson (Great Britain) 43:21; Islay De Nil (Great Britain) 43:32; Diane Gordon (Canada) 44:06
Teams (UAE): WonderWards 46:08; Dubai Municipality-5 46:19; Dubai Municipality-6 48:39
Teams: Vatikaki (Zimbabwe) 47:08; Super Woman (Egypt) 49:19; Super Sprinter CAV’s (Philippines) 52:33
The Dubai Fitness Challenge has hearts pumping across the city with thousands of participants aiming to complete 30 minutes of activity every day for thirty days.
And in an innovative approach, IFA, the largest grassroots football program in Dubai, has embraced the challenge by inviting parents of their players to join in with the children for the final 30 minutes of every coaching session; as well as offering a 30 per cent discount on sessions and 30 hours of free pitch space.
Importantly for IFA however, the focus is not just on the 30 day challenge (which commented on October 20), but on creating a legacy from the challenge which will continue indefinitely as a lifelong fitness program, with the aim of making Dubai the world’s most active city.
IFA, which recently became the first football academy in the UAE to partner with Coerver Coaching, the world’s leading football coaching program, intends to create the legacy through the launch of a first of its kind interactive app, IFASport, which is designed to help each player develop and succeed, not only in football but also in all spheres of their lives.
The app, developed by IFA, fuses a safe social media environment with a health and fitness tracker to record performance, track growth, development and achievements and create challenges for friends to compete against each other. It can also be used to track academic progress and performance, as well as other activities or interests.
IFA Technical Director Tommy Wingrove said: “The Dubai Fitness Challenge is an excellent initiative and we are delighted to be a part of it.
“It’s been a great success inviting the parents to join their children to get their 30 minutes of activity, and the Challenge is the ideal opportunity to kickstart a lifelong fitness program encouraged by the use of the app.
“Our aim is to keep the momentum from the Dubai Fitness Challenge going, ultimately contributing to Dubai becoming the most active city in the world.”
The app also allows parents and players to engage directly with the coaches and the academy to book training sessions and facilities, view performance and assessment reports from coaches, as well as receive tips and training drills.
Wingrove added: “The app also encourages parents to engage with their children and the application can be extended to academic activities and any other areas of interest in the child’s life. We are planning to make the app available to any interested groups and organisations as it can be easily adapted to a variety of situations.”
He continued: “It’s an exciting time for IFA, with the new partnership with Coerver we are really raising the standard for our elite players, and with the activities associated with the Dubai Fitness Challenge and the release of the app we are continuing to grow our grass roots base and encourage more participation across the emirate.”
Manchester City have launched the second edition of their youth football tournament in the GCC, the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup.
Following the successful inaugural edition earlier this year, the tournament will return to Abu Dhabi on March 23 – 24 2018.
Teams can now sign up for the two-day Cup that offers the top prize of a trip to the Etihad Campus in Manchester, where youngsters will get to train and play at the same facilities as Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams, at City Football Academy.
Alongside great football on display, the event will also showcase Abu Dhabi as a visitor destination with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture & Tourism once again confirmed as key partners.
There will also be action away from the pitches with a ‘City Village’ providing live entertainment, food and drinks, and activities for all the family.
Simon Hewitt, City Football Schools Abu Dhabi Project Manager, said: “We’ve had very positive feedback from everyone involved in the first edition and are building on that success with a bigger and better tournament. There are now new age group categories and an expanded format to include more teams from around the world.
“Manchester City Football Club is committed to the development of youth football in this region and the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup is fast becoming an essential part of that objective. We believe that football has the ability to bring together children from different backgrounds, cultures, and ages and is truly a sport for everyone. We also see this event as an incredible opportunity for young footballers to make new friends and test themselves against both regional and international teams.
“The chance to come together and compete across a variety of different age groups and to win a trip to Manchester is proving to be a huge draw. Plus, teams are using the trip to enjoy all the sights and attractions that Abu Dhabi has to offer.”
Registration is open across four age groups – under 14s, under 12s, under 10s, and the newly introduced under 8s category. Teams from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait have already made firm commitments to take part.
The Under-10’s team, GEMS Kindergarten Starters, from Dubai were the lucky winners in the inaugural tournament held in March this year.
As well as the star prize of a trip to the City Football Academy in Manchester, three further teams will be awarded with a week-long training package, delivered by Manchester City’s professional coaches in the region.
In a new opportunity, teams taking part in the 2018 edition will have the option to enter a week-long training camp prior to the tournament kicking off.
For further information, and to register your club to take part in the Manchester City Abu Dhabi Cup 2018 please visit: www.citycupabudhabi.com.